NWA EDITORIAL | THURSDAY’S THUMBS: Chick-fil-A Traffic, Electric Cars, and a Community College Exit

It’s Thursday and another opportunity to pull a few thumbs up or down on some of the news developments in our corner of the country and elsewhere:

[THUMBS UP] We were pleased to learn that the Chick-fil-A store north of Fayetteville, up there in the mall with Barnes & Noble and other businesses, will be redeveloped into a drive-thru-only restaurant. Prepared poultry from this supplier is so popular that it is practically impossible to bring all the buyers to the property, and it is not a pleasure for anyone. They make delicious treats, but it seems that each of this company’s locations lacks the space to prevent traffic from backing onto public streets or, as is the case in North Fayetteville, overwhelming the flow of traffic. in a car park shared with other companies. Few companies can manage demand for their products more effectively than Chick-fil-A, but when demand exceeds a restaurant’s built-in capacity and spills beyond its property, it can be dangerous. We hear of distracted drivers, who think a friend’s “LOL” response on a handheld device is more important than a 3,000 pound vehicle they’re driving. And… Kablam! Instead of chicken time, it’s time to check in at the nearest hospital. The North Fayetteville location will add lanes to expand its ability to “stack” motorists waiting to order or pick up food, and we’re glad to hear about the effort. It’s great for any community to have a restaurant that serves residents food so popular it can create its own traffic jam, but those situations can’t last until the cows come home. home. [THUMBS UP] We noticed a story the other day on the news pages about discussions in northwest Arkansas about electric vehicles and how to continue to make them a viable choice for motorists. It included numbers on the roughly 2.8 million vehicles registered in Arkansas: As of June 1, Arkansans had registered 2,997 all-electric vehicles, with Benton County leading the charge, so to speak. Motorists there registered 660 all-electric vehicles, with Pulaski County in second place with 640 and Washington County in third with just over 400 — perhaps, at least in Fayetteville, because Subaru’s all-electric car hasn’t come out yet. Electric vehicles remain a small part of this state’s inventory, but keep this in mind: only 781 were registered in 2019. As more charging stations provide a reliable system of refueling, if prices for prices remain high for a long time and as electric vehicle technology spreads and advances (and hopefully cars become more affordable), more buyers will engage. We hope that gasoline prices will return to reasonable levels, but we also believe that the lure of clean emissions from electric vehicles is a strong draw, especially when cleaner electric power is available. Don’t expect most Arkansans to jump full speed ahead to electric vehicles, but the day will come when they’ll be a viable and desirable choice for more people, especially in urban areas. [THUMBS UP] Well-deserved congratulations to Evelyn Jorgenson as she prepares to step down from her role as the third president of Northwest Arkansas Community College, where she has served as executive leadership since 2013. She led the college’s two-year expansion into a facility in the county of Washington in Springdale, creation of NWACC’s Brightwater: A Center for Food Studies and the Bentonville Campus Integrated Design Lab, combining art, design and construction programs. She also provided consistent leadership during a global pandemic, which was no easy task. Thousands of students will continue to benefit from Jorgenson’s investment of time and talent in Northwest Arkansas for decades. Good retirement.

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